Thursday, February 23, 2006


Our intrepid spy in the field, AGENT ORANGE, has finally returned from another long extended stay in the field with more recorded conversations of average Torontonians in their day to day life.

This conversation is between Emily (35) a married mother of two who lives in Etobicoke and Ashley (34), a single urban woman who works at a downtown media company. The conversation was recorded at a restaurant in the Annex, February 20, 2006. It appeared that the two women were old friends catching up over a lunch.

EMILY: So, what do you think about those Danish cartoons?

ASHLEY: They’re an insult to Islam. I support all of the protests.

EMILY: Even the violent ones?

ASHLEY: Violence is a last resort taken up by people who have no other recourse due to a white, western, Judeo Christian, patriarchal power structure.

EMILY: So then you have no problem with the people who have been killed in these protests?

ASHLEY: I didn’t say that. Don’t put words in my mouth.

EMILY: So then you don’t agree with the violence?

ASHLEY: Sometimes we only get positive change through proactive measurements.

EMILY: You don’t think they are an overstatement?

ASHLEY: These people have been oppressed and persecuted for too long. Their faith means something to them. I respect that.

EMILY: So then you must have sympathy for Catholics who are offended by the conspiracies of The DaVinci Code, some of which are steeped in Ku Klux Klan literature from the 1930’s?

ASHLEY: Catholics who are offended by The DaVinci Code just don’t want to face up to the fact that they have enslaved women for 2000 years.

EMILY: That’s a bit harsh.

ASHLEY: So were the witch burnings at the hands of the papists.

EMILY: Well, what about Evangelicals who were offended by The Book of Daniel?

ASHLEY: Good show.

EMILY: Yeah, but don’t you think the depiction of a weak Episcopalian Minister who talks to a hippy Jesus because he doesn’t have the strength of faith to deal with his alcoholic wife, his own drug addiction, racist parishioners, lesbian sister or gay Republican son is at least a bit insulting?

ASHLEY: What’s wrong with having a gay son? Well, I guess if he’s a Republican. Say, have you seen Brokeback Mountain yet?



EMILY: I just haven’t.


EMILY: I don’t get out to the movies that often.


EMILY: Two kids, a family, work. I don’t know if that would be my first pick anyway.


EMILY: I thought maybe I’d see the Johnny Cash movie instead. It’s a love story.

ASHLEY: So’s Brokeback Mountain.

EMILY: I suppose.

ASHLEY: You suppose? This is one of the most poignant films ever made with a social conscience that will be talked about for generations to come. Oh, but you suppose.

EMILY: Hey, don’t be so uptight.

ASHLEY: Don’t be so homophobic.

EMILY: Homowhat? It’s just a movie. Really.

ASHLEY: And perhaps 6 million Jews is just a Holocaust.

EMILY: The Holocaust? What are you taking about? We went from discussing Brokeback Mountain to you accusing me of trivializing the Holocaust.

ASHLEY: I’m illustrating a point. If you can’t see the importance of Brokeback Mountain compared to other historical events, how can I trust your judgment?

EMILY: I think you’re taking this a tad too seriously.

ASHLEY: That’s the problem with people like you.

EMILY: Like me?

ASHLEY: Well, at least Toronto is still a tolerant city. We showed them on election night.

EMILY: How did we show them? We are a major metropolitan centre with no representation in the current government.

ASHLEY: That’s how we showed them.

EMILY: Don’t you think that will hurt us in the long-run. I mean if Harper gets a majority next time.

ASHLEY: Never happen. Canada is Liberal and the Liberals are Canada. Every Torontonian knows that.

EMILY: So then you aren’t even going to give Stephen Harper a chance?

ASHLEY: I watched his profile on the CBC. Besides, Emerson proves he’s no better than anyone else.

EMILY: It’s a tad more complex than that. At least he’s opening up the Supreme Court process.

ASHLEY: He’s politicizing a pure and Canadian institution.

EMILY: But the court already is politicized.

ASHLEY: That’s offensive! You take that back right now!

EMILY: Everything from back room lobbying to wealthy law firms to personal relationships influence who gets on our courts. That’s the system. He’s just allowing us to see it.

ASHLEY: No! Now he’ll get the final say. That’s tyranny! That’s fascism! Just like in America.

EMILY: But Prime Ministers and Presidents always have the final say.

ASHLEY: They shouldn’t. I say throw it back to the people!

EMILY: But both Stephen Harper and George Bush were elected by the people.

ASHLEY: Then the people are wrong. Peasants.

EMILY: Look, I really should go. Shall we hook up later in the week?

ASHLEY: Maybe you can come to my Oscar Party. They say it will be a good year for socially conscious films. There’s an industry that understands the concerns of the average person.

EMILY: Y'know I actually hope they get their message out loud and clear. With the current problems in Washington, the Republicans need all the help they can get.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Many by now have heard or seen of how University of Toronto newspaper The Strand took the 'courageous' path of publishing a cartoon of Jesus Christ kissing Mohammed under a Tunnel of Tolerance.

Lifesite News does a wonderful job of showing the hypocrisy of the modern day university campus where free speech is always selective and one can get away with virtually anything as long as you are 'pro-gay'.

All chuffed up on finding his inner 'libertarian', the newspaper's person... feels he is only doing his duty.

"The cartoon is a sort of Canadian statement on religious tolerance," Nick Ragaz, managing editor of The Strand, the student newspaper of Victoria University at U of T told the Toronto Star. "This is not an act of hate," he said. "It's controversial, yes, but it's no attack," said Ragaz."

Ironically, Lifesite News was able to find no fewer than three recent instances where speech was not so free at University of Toronto.

"In 2004, a pro-life club at the university wanted to present a pictorial display which graphically compared abortion to historically recognized genocides. The University of Toronto obstructed the free speech rights of its pro-life students. The university insisted that the display be erected in an open-sided tent with most of the posters facing inwards, making it virtually impossible for the signs to be seen from outside the tent. "

"When internationally renowned Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft delivered a talk at the university in 2003 which expounded Catholic teaching on homosexuality, the Student administrative council passed a resolution to declare the talk as hate and demanded an official hate-speech investigation."

"In 1999, an ad for a tenure-track professorship at the University of Toronto appeared in the August bulletin of the Canadian Association of University Teachers saying that only candidates with a "feminist and anti-racist perspective" need apply. At the time, University of Toronto Professor Thomas Pangle, said that the ad "makes explicit what I had thought was usually only implicit, namely, that ideological conformity was the chief prerequisite for such a position at our university."

No one should be shocked that this cartoon would occur at the University of Toronto or at the hypocrisy surrounding it.

Sooner or later someone is going to tell the story of what it's like to be a student on a modern university campus.

The lies.

The hypocrisy.

The brainwashing.

It will shock many and cause many refutations. It's coming. I can feel it.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


The one thing that made me excited over Stephen Harper winning a minority government, the thing that he did not need a majority to do was that he had the chance to put a justice on the Supreme Court of Canada. As The War Room has also said, a change in government does not mean a change in culture. If one wants to change the culture one must do more than just vote in conservative governments. One must embrace the arts, educational and legal systems.

Prime Minister Harper next week will be able to fill a Supreme Court seat. On the positive, he is opening the process up to the public. On the negative, he is choosing the appointment based on a short list of recommedations put forth by the Liberals before the election. It seems that he will make his final choice based on one of three recommeded by that wunderkind social engineer known as Irwin Cotler. Coltler, the Liberal Justice Minister who said religious freedoms under the Charter would have to be taken on a case by case basis.

As said in today's National Post,

"The decision to continue with the Liberal process means the Conservatives could be passing up their only chance to put their stamp on the highest court in the country, which decides issues that can affect Canadians for decades.

The current bench is relatively young and, barring any unforeseen departures, the next mandatory retirement is not scheduled until November, 2013, when Justice Morris Fish must step down at age 75.

Former prime minister Paul Martin accused the Tories during the recent election campaign of planning to "stack" the Supreme Court with conservative judges.

By choosing a justice from the Liberal-approved list, the Conservatives would seem to have shut down that line of criticism."

This news for me is devastating. We have had a Supreme Court culture now for almost thirty years that has an increasingly partisan New Left philosphical outlook. That is a large reason why Canada's values have deteriorarted the way they have and we have become a nation adrift on a sea of acquience and identity politics.

The Emmerson appointment did not bother me. Others were increasingly troubled by it to the point of arranging protests and petitions.

How will they react to this?

This is the battle I wanted to fight; picking a Supreme Court Justice. Now I am told that not only have I lost the battle but that it will never be fought. I feel like those poor Australian soldiers who fought the battle of Gallipoli in Turkey during WWI; sent to the front lines as decoys to be shot on sight just so the British could move into another position.

Why? So that we can win a majority in two years. When we can have more left-liberal appointments so that we can win another moderate majority after that. If the Conservatives do not change the judiciary then they have become little more than seat warmers until the Liberals return. And they will still be vilified in the next election as neo-fascists.

I understand what Prime Minister Harper wants to achieve. He wants to change the culture and I do understand that change does not happen overnight. I also understand that he will probably do things in a majority situation that are more conservative. He wants to be Canada's Ronald Reagan; set an example for conservatism so that in twenty years the real changes can occur under a new leader who would be Canada's George W. Bush. I also understand that he wants to set precedents where important social issues are not chosen by the Supreme Court but by parliament. I understand his logic and way of thinking.

But I have to be blunt; along with the Michael Wilson appointment I am starting to see an image. I do not want a return to the Mulroney era. I want a conservative government based on the experiences we have had since the Trudeau era which looks at what they did wrong and tries to correct them. I know this is heresy to say to some, but Brian Mulroney was an extension of the cultural traditions of the Trudeau era. He came from that tradition, not the Reagan/ Thatcher tradition that was happening elsewhere at the time.

A Supreme Court justice pick is not something one can time. When it comes up, you take it. This is the battle I wanted to fight. I wanted a judge with a philosophy not based in 'identity politics.'

Now we will have another justice like the arrogant Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin . She who gave a speach last year in Australia alluding that she did not need to consult the constitution in her decisions if she saw fit. No ironies indeed that she has been very vocal about not wanting the judicial process made public.

Now we will have another justice like the arrogant radical feminist Chief Justice Rosie Abella. Oh yes, we do genuflect when we say her name.

I cannot believe that any names recommended by Cotler will be anything other than more of the same.

This along with the news that the Ontario Progressive Conservatives are moving to the center to emphasize the adjective in their name over the noun does not give me the hope I once had.

I wonder if there will be any conservative outrage over this? This really mattered. This is the fight I wanted. The battle I was geared up for. Emmerson was a battle built upon by the liberal media and too many conservatives played right into their hands. I promise you this will not be big news next week. Any concerns by conservatives will be muted and stifled because it is what the media wants.

THIS was your Harriet Myers battle, not Emmerson.

Now we will have to wait until 2013 for a new pick can be chosen. Tell me...

Who do you think will be in power then?

Friday, February 17, 2006


A very valuable film review website is Libertas. It is subtitled 'a forum for conservative thought on film' and is run by Jason Apuzzo. On this website you will find many valuble essays on contemporary and historical films written with a very critical eye towards ideology and content. Apuzzo has a PHD and reviews and discusses the film industry with respect to what types of films are made, what their ideological component is and why they were made. The essays on the site are always articulate, learned and very knowledgable with regards to cinema history.

Today he presents a review of 'V for Vendetta', the follow-up film by the Waschowski Brothers who made The Matrix Trilogy. It is a dystopian view of a heroic terrorist who takes on a fascist government. A taste...

"Needless to say, this is one misguided, naive film that is everything it accuses the government within the film of being: fear mongering, deceitful, hateful, and propagandistic. This irony, unfortunately, seems to be lost on director James McTeigue and writers Andy and Larry Wachowski (who adapted Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s graphic novel).

From the very opening of this film, it becomes clear that the futuristic England under the reign of evil Conservatives (no brain-dead writer cliche there, right?) is meant to be a stand-in for the filmmakers’ paranoid vision of America - or where they believe America is headed. England, having been drawn into “America’s War,” is now a police state ruled by the Religious Right. This allows the filmmakers to indulge in a laundry list of the Left’s greatest hits of manufactured or downright paranoid “issues,” rants, hysterics, and propaganda (the very thing the film accuses the Right of doing)"

This film was supposed to be released as a big summer blockbuster in 2005, then postponed to the fall. Now it is coming out in the fall which is traditionally the dumping grounds in the industry for films that are troubled in some way.

I recommend reading this review in its entirety. I have read much about this film and I suspect it will get raves. Among many of the things apparently in the film...wait for it...a pedophilic priest; the allegation that AIDS is a disease created by Christians to kill homosexuals; the notion that there is no threat of terrorism except for that by the government; and Islam is spoke of as a poetic religion while Christianity is seen as hysterical and based in hate and fear.

It amazes me that people will see this film about fearmongering and not realize that they are in fact being fearmongered to.

V for Vendetta is the type of film made exactly for the same type of people who responded to those Liberal ads about 'soldiers with guns.'

As I have always said, try to find out as much as you can about the media you consume before you consume it. Too many people I find fall back to the old 'its only entertainment' argument when nothing could be further from the truth. You vote with your dollar in the entertainment industry.

Know the message you are being sold.

Also, and this is important; if you know people that see this film and want to discuss not give this 'art', the benefit of being taken seriously. Laugh at it. That is your best weapon. By laughing at it as the extremist propaganda it is you take away its power to influence.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Ontario New Democrat, Peter Kormos has introduced a bill into the Ontario legislature that will make organ donation compulsary for all Ontarians unless one states otherwise.

"...he wants to make it so organs are automatically donated for transplant unless the patient specifies otherwise.

He says the bill is necessary because too many people die while awaiting transplants."

I find this kind of bill quite distrubing. It is an intrusion on the very body of the human being by the government, and as always 'for the betterment of society.'

This is one more step on behalf of the New Left to defacto control what people do with their bodies.

This is always where the proverbial 'slope' begins. Now I have no problem with someone who wants to donate their organs or even their body to science if they so desire. That is their right and choice. However, this bill makes it defacto that one does not own their body upon death unless they specify otherwise. The moral questions and ramifications are endless...

What if someone forgets to fill out their 'objection' and dies in an abrupt accident but their kin knows they object?

Who will prevail? The government...the relatives? What if it is a serious objection due to religious faith? Would that take precedence in the view of the Ontario courts?

I think we all know the answer to that last question.

Once we establish a culture that permits the state to defacto own your organs unless one states otherwise, how long until it becomes a question of, 'should anyone be allowed to refuse to give their organs away?' If it is for the public good after all, should anyone be allowed to refuse?

What if someone is dying who has healthy organs and refuses to donate; will the government put pressure on them or their family to change their mind if someone is in need at that moment? What if it were a really important person who needed the organs and a poor powerless person who was dying?

How long until someone makes the argument that after you are dead you do not need your body anyway?

The various ethical dilemmas are endless with life issues and if history teaches us one thing, it is that the New Left, with an atheistic world view, sees the human body with no sense of sacremental respect whatsoever. Bring religious beliefs into it and you are guaranteed to lose.

Consider the garrish exhibt on display at the Ontario Science Centre of the human corpses, done in the name of 'education.' Would that display be seen as a legitimate use of the human body by the government?

Could human organs be deemed necessary by the state for scientific research? Could they be sold?

These are all hypotheticals of course, but with the New Left, no hypothetical can be seen as too extreme; none to radical.

We have already seen with same-sex marriage that many of the 'doomsday scenarios' have already played out on a small scale. Things we were told would never happen.

This is the sort of issue where the closet libertarian in me screams out.

I hope this bill fails handily. I have my doubts.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


It seems McGill has replaced my old alma mater, Queen's University as the top 'party school' of Canada according to Playboy magazine and now people are upset. Here is an article that describes how partying at McGill has taken on a whole new level...

"Pictures of students stripping and removing each other's clothes were taken in January at the "Carnival party," an event organized by management students at McGill.

"You can see by the photos there are students stripped down to their underwear," said CTV Montreal's Rob Lurie," and others wearing what they call puke suits -- which are large smocks for when they have drinking contests."

McGill management students told CTV Montreal that these parties have been going on for several years.

"They're really huge parties," one student said. "It's a great activity for the students."

I am surprised that people still feign shock at stories like this. When the modern university curriculum consists of tearing down the structure and ideology of '2000 years of sexual oppression' at the cost of forming ones intellect, what exactly does the administration expect?

This is like the story of the female student who was caught putting videos on the internet of her giving some of her fellow students lap dances in her dorm room. And then the administration acts upset. She was probably doing 'field research' for her Soc 101 assignment on the 'role of post animalistic sexual rituals in the modern human'.

This is how students act when they are taught that there is no right from wrong; all history is relative; all sexuality good and there is no such thing as judgement.

They are your leaders of tommorrow.

Friday, February 10, 2006


More hypocrisy surrounding the publication of those cartoons. This time at St. Mary's University in Halifax.

This article was found via Kathy Shaidle.

"Philosophy professor Peter March said he was exercising academic freedom when he taped cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed on his office door at St. Mary's University this week. Muslim students say he was mocking their faith."

Sadly, this seems to be another case where all involved appear to be on the wrong side. As I have stated previously, I am fairly libertarian when it comes to issues of free speech, especially in the context of debating issues and ideas. Usually I would champion a professor on a university campus defending true issues of free speech. I question if this is it.

"The professor, who said he is a defender of civil liberties and opposes all religion, said his actions were designed to prompt a public debate, which he said is a cornerstone of university life."

I wonder how much of his motivation arises from issues of free speech and how much arises from his opposition to all religions in general. I think that is a valid question.

As for the offended students who protested and are calling for him to be fired; do they also oppose when/if the good professor offends Christians or Catholics, which I would wager probably happens a good deal of the time in his classes? Are they merely being selective in their offense?

As for this...

"The university's faculty union also came down on the professor, arguing that academic freedom is about providing teachers with the freedom to research, debate and publish."

I'm not a student at St. Mary's University but I'd be willing to bet if I strolled onto this campus I would find many things inflammatory about Christians and Catholics that are allowed. I bet I'd find them in the good professor's own classes if I looked hard enoungh; if my own experience with other philosophy professors who 'oppose all religion' is any indicator.

In short, everyone comes out of this poorly. As an advocate of free speech on university campuses I do not believe the professor should be fired or even censured in any way. But that does not mean I think he is a 'hero' for the cause of free speech. I suspect he has other motivations which I have alluded to above.

As for the students. I support their right to protest but think that calling for the professor to be fired defeats their own purpose of being in a university. It also, in a cyclical way makes the profesor's own point about free speech valid. To me a true university is about the free exchange of ideas and some of those ideas may well be offensive. If you do not like it...don't go. I am tired of those who are professionally offended on university campuses.

As for the Faculty Union...well, let's just say that if I were given the freedom to purge from every university campus those individuals that I think are most harmful to the goal of higher learning on university campuses, I 'd start at the Faculty Union Lounge.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Sadly, more violence is erupting over those cartoons that so many are engaged and enraged about. As reported by apnews;

"Police killed four people Wednesday as Afghans enraged over drawings of the Prophet Muhammad marched on a U.S. military base in a volatile southern province, directing their anger not against Europe but America.

The U.S. base was targeted because the United States "is the leader of Europe and the leading infidel in the world," said Sher Mohammed, a 40-year-old farmer who suffered a gunshot wound while taking part in the demonstration in the city of Qalat."

A few things must be said.

First off, regardless of whether or not one is for or against the war in Iraq (and I do think it is acceptable to be opposed so long as the opposition comes from a rational place), I cannot see how many of those opposed can think that all of the issues concerning the fundamentalist elements in Isalm in the world at present are just about 'America's dependence on oil'. This is a serious topic, but there are issues with fundamentalist strains in Islam that Western society more and more seems to not want to deal with. I do not mean the governments. I mean the average people. The appeasers. It's not a topic one is supposed to bring up in polite conversation.

Obviously, this is not the behaviour of a majority of followers of Islam. But this is also not just a few. It is a genuine strain that has many followers. They are not all just poor and oppressed.

As for the cartoons themselves; I have seen them. Are they offensive? Yes. Do they justify the extreme violence of the reaction. No. They are no more offensive than pieces of celebrated liberal art such as 'Piss Christ' or the 'Virgin Mary covered in cow dung'. The DaVinci Code is easily as offensive to Christians. But alas, Christians are used to being mocked in mainstream culture and liberals are used to mocking them. That does not make the offending cartoons right; they are not. But the reaction has been astounding.

The hypocrisy of those that are making apologies for the reaction by extremists again baffles me.

One cannot equivocate a few 'nuts' threatening Martin Scorsese over The Last Temptation of Christ, with the attacking of an embassy and the mass violent protests around the world.

I have not written much yet at all on the war in Iraq because ultimately I do believe that the truth about it and the worth of The War on Terror will not be known for generations. I have studied the arguments and think it is a very complex issue that many on both sides are generalizing about. Certainly not all Muslims in the Arab world should be tarnished with racist labels and be suspected of being terrorists.

Nevertheless, the more I read, the more compelled I am to believe that this really is more complex than the recurring chants of "It's only about oil."

The reaction to these cartoons, and the fact that so many governments feel the need to go out of their way to seek approval from followers of Islam, does give one pause for thought.

I will address this issue in larger detail in the near future.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


A few things before the good stuff.

1. The political sniping taken at President George W. Bush at the memorial of Coretta Scott King was an example of grotesque partisanship. That Democratic Party representatives such as Jimmy Carter would exploit this situation as another example to politicize what should have been a respectful event is beyond reproach.

Ironically enough, the 'wiretapping' that Carter refers to of the Kings was done by J. Edgar Hoover at the behest of Robert Kennedy. Until the black community in America quits allowing the Democrats to take their votes for granted and start looking up to people like Condoleeza Rice as opposed to Jesse Jackson, things will not change.

2. As for raising the age of consent to 16, I am for it. I have no fears that we will be seeing scores of consenting teens carted off to jail anytime soon. If the fear of it means a few of them might wait a little longer for sex...good.

3. Last week Stanely Kurtz in the National Review confirmed much of what I have written on the issue of same-sex marriage by analyzing the reportings of Martha Bailey, a radical feminist Queen's University law professor.

Bailey indeed writes in her report that by legalizing polygamy it is yet one more step towards the abolition of the institution of marriage in general. She sees this as a good thing for liberating women from the patriarchal institution of traditional marriage. The War Room has already written that the origin of SSM was not in the gay community but in the radical feminist. I went to Queen's University also and it was noted for being at the forefront of the legal community and at the forefront of radical feminist law.

This did not surprise me at all. There is not much more to say at this point.

4. It seems New Line cinema is thinking of financing a feature film based on the life of the Virgin Mary entitled Nativity. To be directed by Catherine Hardwicke from a script by Mike Rich, the film is to be about the story of Joseph and Mary leading up to the Nativity. I have always thought this would be a beautiful story if done tastefully, realistically and with respect.

Will this be that or another attempt at revisionist history with a sexually active teen Mary? Will it be inspired by The Passion of the Christ or The DaVinci Code?

5. If you've made it this far and have a sense of humour hit the following link. You will find one of the funniest movie parodies I have seen in a longtime entitled Brokeback To The Future.

Well edited and a great concept.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


We all have views that we are passionate about. Views which we hold so dear that we could never be swayed from our position without some sort of rational discussion. There then is another sect of people who can never be swayed and believe that anyone who disagrees with them is extreme. They usually are extremists themselves but cannot see it.

Today's column by Toronto Star columnist Antonia Zerbisias entitiled "Hate Behind Right Wing BlogBurst" is a perfect example of the irony of one who is extreme accusing others of being hateful extremists.

In the article, a self-righteous Zerbisias accuses the "right-wing blogosphere" of promoting hatred against Islam because there have been reprints of the recent Danish cartoons that insult the Prophet Muhammad. At the beginning of her article she even makes a bizarre allusion to the re-prints of these cartoons as being the same as the violence that resulted from them.

"While Muslim religious extremists are rioting in the streets of Beirut, Gaza City and Kabul, Scandinavian embassies are being torched and Jordanians are deprived of their Danish feta over cartoons that were never actually published in any legitimate newspaper, the right-wing blogosphere has been staging its own "blogburst": the act of reproducing the offending depictions of the Prophet Muhammad."

She then goes on to give the expected insults and rebukes to women such as Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin but saves her most venemous rage for Kathy Shaidle who writes the web-site Relapsed Catholic. Here, her attack seems to verge on something that goes well beyond critique and seemingly into the realm of the personal and anti-Catholic.

"Case in point: Toronto-based blogger Kathy Shaidle (a.k.a. Relapsed Catholic) whose religious politics would have easily qualified her as chief judge and bonfire builder during the Spanish Inquisition. "


"Why she doesn't call her blog the Daily Auto Da Fe — for the public burning of heretics in Spain — is beyond me. "

Now whether or not one agrees or disagrees with the religion or politics of Shaidle, Malkin or Coulter is not the point. The point is the extreme way that Zerbisias tries to defame them in a public forum when these women, in the Toronto newspaper market, do not have the advantage of defending themselves. The point is how she slurs and generalizes about the right wing blogosphere in general. The point is also that Zerbisias herself is no moderate becon of love and tolerance.

There is much that is said against Islam that I find unfortunate on some blogs. Some do generalize and promote hate and should be critiqued. When that criticism comes from a moderate voice such as Michael Coren then the critique is valid. When the accusation comes from someone such as Zerbisias in the Toronto Star, it is billous and hyprocritical.

Zerbisias herself and by association the Toronto Star have engaged in some of the most hysterical hate-based conspiracies of 9-11 for years now.

In an article entitled "Pursue the Truth About Sept. 11" and published in the Toronto Star
on Sunday, 17 November, 2002, Zerbisias promotes some of the most extreme conspiracy theories about September 11 . Some of these theories can be found on websites that would be considered anti-semitic for how they implicate Jews and Israel in the attacks. Then she wrote,

"...contrary to what was circulated at the time, box-cutters, which the hijackers were alleged to have used to take over the planes, had been forbidden on planes since 1994. Airport screeners were to call supervisors if such items were found. But they didn't on Sept. 11, even though, as we now know, there had been "chatter" about hijacking for weeks. Why not?
The questions are endless. "

"All of which to say, there are many people, and more by the minute, persuaded that, if the Bushies didn't cause 9/11, they did nothing to stop it. "

In this part, Zerbisias seems to want to give creedence to the 'theories' but not quite commit in a public forum to them herself.

"The dearth of public accountability explains why it took only a couple of hours after Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone's plane crashed last month for the conspiracy theorists to crank up the "was-he-murdered?" e-mails. His death sure seemed odd, especially since he was such a staunch anti-Bushite. Could it have been a coincidence that his wife was also killed, so she couldn't step in for him? Or that the markets jumped after the news, in a turnaround dubbed the "Wellstone Rally?"

Of course it was a coincidence. But still, there are mysteries about what's been happening - and most of the big media are not wasting any energy on them. "

Does she really believe this is coincidence? The way she writes I really can't tell. Then she refers to a site called whatreallyhappened which is a doozy. She calls it "...carefully considered, well crafted and very compelling."

Even the most cursory glance at this website shows it engages in the most extreme form of left-wing propaganda. With large essays dedicated to demonstrating not only that President George Bush orchestrated and allowed September 11, but other long essays illustrating timelines hoping to enlighten people to the fact that President Bush's rise to power is equivocal to Adolph Hitler's and America is now in a phase similar to the rise of the Third Reich.

If I was Zerbisias I would be ashamed to associate myself with these arguments that trivialize the Holocaust...unless of course she really believes them. Many of these 'theories' are mainstays on other sites that are very anti-semitic. As I do not read her column on a regular basis I have no idea if she or the Toronto Star have backpeddled since this article was first published.

Before my wedding last summer we had a shower. One of the bridesmaides showed up with her new boyfriend, a young Palestinian Man and his best friend who was also Palestinian. One sported a Che tatoo on his arm, and each looked as though they spent much time in the gym. Eventually my worst fears came to fruition when they started saying how they had spent time in the middle east and 'bragged' about having shot at Jews there. I have no idea if this was true although they looked as though they could have had military experience of some sort. They then went on to engage in some of the worst conspiracy theories about Jews, 9-11 and the Vatican saving some of their worst vitriol for Catholics.

Now were these two men representative of all or even many Palestinians. Of course not. To think so would be racist. They are extremists and bigots. But when I read Zerbisias giving creedence to some of the same types of hateful conspiracy theories they spoke of and referring to websites about them I shake my head. Her paper, the Toronto Star has also engaged in some of the biggest hate based anti-Catholic rhetoric I have read since university.

When she then has the audacity to accuse others of 'hate' I have to be amazed at the hypocrisy.

And that's what this essay is really about. Not Palestinians; not Muslims; not Jews; not Catholics. It is about extremists and hypocrisy. And how sometimes, that which extremists accuse their foes of is exactly what they are guilty of themselves.

Monday, February 06, 2006


I wanted to think about this for a few hours before I commented on it. At first it threw me and it is obvious by the type of comments that other bloggers are making that it has upset a great number of Stephen Harper's supporters. be angry seems too obvious at this point.

This feels to me like the first day of the campaign where Harper came right out of the gate and talked about same-sex marriage. People thought he blew it; that he was insane; a man who really didn't get it. I remember the angry posts. After a few days people came to see it for the brilliant strategizing it was. Get the deed out of the way early.

Stephen Harper has taken office like the Eliot Ness of Canadian poltiics. He is there to clean up the dirt. He must be spotless. But expectations are almost too high to be met. He can only fall with these types of eyes on him. By taking Emerson, he gets the 'fall from grace' out of the way early. He has not committed any high crime and Emerson will not really effect the power shift or make-up of parliament.

Does anyone really think that Conservatives + NDP = Majority?

Oh yeah, they'll agree on everything from child care to defense!

I think Prime Minister Harper knows exactly what he is doing. He knew how this would be seen.

Let' s all take a deep breath and see how this plays out before we start calling him Benedict Harper.

I am as proud of him now as I was the night he won.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Today's story in the Regina Leader Post, by way of Neale News, is the type of story that fills me with a profound sadness for how little Canada, under the Liberal government, has allowed our military to not only falter, but by so allowed them to be disrepected. This is nowhere more evident than in this report that our troops are using some weapons that are up to 60 years old.

"Canadian soldiers embarked on the country's largest combat mission since the Korean War are using handguns that date back even further -- to the Second World War."

"Major Gary Vassbotn, the army's section head for small arms, said the Browning was adopted as a sidearm in 1937 and the last pistol was produced by John Inglis & Co. in 1944. But while the handguns may be old, he said they are in excellent condition."

I respect that the Major is trying to make the best of the situation but there is very little that can be said to change the fact that the good men and women of Canada's military have not garnered nor commanded the respect that they deserve. This fits in with the New Left philosophy, set out in the sixties, of any traditional authority figures (family, police, military) as symbols to be reviled.

My father served in the Canadian Navy during World War II. That a generation is being raised to see these people as negligible or worse is astounding. Again, it points to a culture where no one can tell the difference between right and wrong, black and white or good and evil anymore.

Recently a fluffy Los Angeles columnist, Joel Stein, who used to write a glib column for Entertainment Weekly got into a snaffu when he said that he did not in fact support American troops. Many on the right were disgusted with him. In the abstract what he said was wrong...but I respected his honesty. I can't be mad at him. At least you know where you stand with someone like that.

The same cannot be said of people like Bill Graham, Paul Martin, Michael Moore, John Kerry, David Miller and numerous others who hide their contempt behind fake plastic smiles, oily handshakes and falsified ceremonies.

Canada, under the past 12 years has devolved into a hypocritical tableau of left-wing platitudes which serve to placate the masses but obfuscate the truth; no more so than in the treatment of our military. From the massive cutbacks; to the lack of respect; to the ad the Liberals produced in the last election to fear monger; the left has shown that all they have ever had for the men and women of the armed forces is condescending attitudes and vitriol.

The issue of the aging weapons is less the problem than it is a symbol of the problem.

I am glad for the armed forces of Canada that under Prime Minister Harper, this will begin to change.